Saturday, March 20, 2010

Selective Mutism Disorder

I wanted to keep my blog as focused as possible because I am a very scattered person. I love so many things and feel so strongly about things that I felt that I may confuse people reading my blog. BUT I feel very strongly that people need to hear about Selective Mutism. My son has this mental disorder and there is not one day that passes that I do not worry. I am overwhelmed, lost, confused, and so so very afraid.
Selective Mutism is an extreme anxiety disorder. It basically has a spectrum from the child who is mute in all situations to the child who will only whisper in school. This is caused by anxiety. Not by stubborness or hatefulness. My son, Jacob, will speak to us at home normally except that he will not say his own name or names of friends. When at school, Jacob does not make a sound. He will not cry, scream, laugh, or whisper. To anyone. Not me, not his brother, not his friends. When in overwhelming situations, he starts withdrawing but ussually I can get whispers. When friends from school are around, he will not speak no matter what environment he is in. He has been like this since he entered Head Start at 3 years old. He is now 6.
I started taking him to a counselor and she talked to him and told me that she is not concerned because he is a well-rounded child. I read articles that said that a child who will not speak in school is a high risk child for social withdrawal and later drug and alcohol abuse. I want help for my son. I want to prevent him from ever becoming a statistic. He is too smart and loving. I am lost. I am currently trying to find more information on this disorder and find someone in Georgia who can help treat him.
The school seems to be really dragging its feet on giving my son an IEP. An IEP would insure that he will be encouraged to use the few techniques that we are currently using. He has a sign for when he needs to use the restroom. The teacher is to treat him as a speaking child and not point out the fact that he is mute. He should be encouraged to write things down if needed.
If you have any information about Selective Mutism Disorder or suggestions for me, please comment. I read all of my comments! Thanks for reading!

Alicia
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